The testicles are reproductive organs within the scrotum, responsible for the production of sperm. Minor injuries to the groin area can cause pain in the testicles, but if the pain lasts and there is no apparent cause, then you could have a more serious condition.
Ignoring the pain can lead to the irreversible testicular damage, infertility, and loss of a testicle. It is important to report strange abdominal pain to the doctor, as testicular problems often will cause stomach pain before the pain in the testicles appears.
Injuries can be responsible for causing testicular pains, but usually, the cause is a medical issue that needs treatment. Common causes of testicle pain can include:
♦ STIs like chlamydia cause inflammation to the testicles, which cause burning pain.
Damage to the nerves in the scrotum, as caused by diabetic neuropathy, can cause painful sensations in the testicles and surrounding area.
♦ Epididymitis is the inflammation of the epididymis. When this tube is inflamed, blood flow to the testicles can be disrupted, which causes pain and discomfort.
Gangrene is a condition that develops when tissues die. Conditions like testicular torsion can cause this by cutting off blood supply to the testicle tissue, and pain is one of the most common symptoms.
♦ Kidney stones can cause pain in the testicles, which can make them difficult to identify. There will usually be other distinct symptoms present with the testicle pain, such as blood in the urine, fever, and urgency to urinate when kidney stones are present.
♦ A hydrocele is a fluid-filled sac that develops in the scrotum and results from injury or inflammation. They are usually painless but can become painful if they get too large.
♦ Undescended testicles happen when one or both testicles do not drop down in the scrotum during adolescence. When this happens, they can become twisted, which causes pain and reduced blood flow to the testicles. It is important to check for undescended testicles before and during puberty regularly.
♦ Orchitis is inflammation of the testicle caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Pain is a common symptom, along with swelling. The mumps virus is the most common cause.
♦ An inguinal hernia is a hernia within the groin where soft tissue bulges through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. Depending on the location of the hernia, you can experience pain in one or both testicles.
♦ Varicocele refers to the enlargement of the veins in the scrotal sac, and this is very common among men. It is similar to varicose veins in the leg and restricts blood supply to the testicles, causing pain.
♦ Testicular torsion occurs when the testicles become twisted as a result of moving freely around the scrotum. This cuts of blood circulation to the tissues, causing gangrene and tissue death. Without prompt treatment, you can lose a testicle.
♦ Testicular cancer presents symptoms similar to other conditions affecting the testicles. Any tumors can usually be easily identified through touch. Chronic testicle pain is one of the first symptoms.
Most causes of testicle pain can be successfully treated. Serious infections like chlamydia or conditions like testicular torsion can cause permanent damage to the testicles if not treated quickly.
Ignoring testicle pain can lead to infertility, and any untreated infections can cause gangrene that will cause shock if allowed to spread through your body. It is easy to avoid these complications by seeking medical attention as soon as you notice testicle pain that does not have an obvious cause such as injury.
After a physical examination, your doctor will also order additional tests to determine the cause of your testicle pain.
♦ Ultrasounds of the scrotal sac and testicles to detect abnormalities
♦ Urinalysis to detect any infections
♦ Examination of prostate secretions
♦ Rectal examination
The treatment of testicle pain will depend on the cause. Antibiotics will be prescribed to clear up infections, and pain medications can help with swelling and discomfort.
Surgical procedures are usually the best treatment, and can include any of the following,
♦ Surgical untwisting of the testicle for testicular torsion
♦ Surgical correction of undescended testicle
♦ Surgery to reduce accumulated fluid in the testicles
Most of the causes of testicle pain are associated with inflammation. Medical treatment may be required for any underlying conditions, but there are also natural treatment options you can try.
Inflammation is part of the natural immune response to fight infection. However, it can cause swelling and pain. Inflammation can be reduced at a chemical level by inhibiting the chemicals that trigger the response.
Natural ingredients can be added to your treatment plan to help reduce inflammation and alleviate testicle pain. These are not designed to treat the underlying condition causing testicle pain. Rather, they will reduce inflammation, which can alleviate your pain.
♦ Lutein is a carotenoid typically associated with eye health. This antioxidant compound also protects other tissues in the body by suppressing inflammation. When an inflammatory activity is present in the testicles, lutein can reduce this and prevent damage.
♦ Beta-carotene is another helpful carotenoid. The body turns this compound into vitamin A. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that can reduce inflammatory causes of pain.
♦ Stinging nettle has a range of medicinal purposes. The hairs on the leaves contain beneficial chemicals that can reduce inflammation and ease pain.
When the pain is the result of a minor injury, there are things you can do at home to relieve pain.
♦ Take warm baths
♦ Use ice packs to relieve swelling
♦ Wear an athletic cup for added protection and support
♦ Support your testicles while lying down by placing a rolled towel under your scrotum.
Some cases of testicle pain can be prevented, but others cannot. When pain cannot be prevented, there are steps you can take to reduce the underlying causes such as:
♦ Practicing safe sex
♦ Regularly examining your testicles to check for changes or lumps
♦ Emptying your bladder completely each time you urinate
Because testicle pain typically indicates an underlying medical condition, it is important to see your doctor if the pain does not go away or if you experience any of the following symptoms along with the pain.
♦ A lump in the scrotum
♦ A fever
♦ Red and tender scrotum
You must seem immediate medical attention if you have had recent contact with a person who had the mumps, if the pain is sudden and severe, or if the swelling and pain occurs with nausea and vomiting.
The long-term outlook will depend on the cause of your testicular pain and how effective treatment is.
For any minor injuries, rest and pain relief will help ease symptoms, and the pain will subside on its own. For any underlying medical conditions, it is important to seek treatment right away to avoid serious complications. Once treatment is started, the pain will be relieved, and you can get back to life, free of testicle pain.